Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs
1st August, 2018
After a calm and relaxing night at sea we embarked our pilot for Gijon at 0700. It was then a short passage to our berth, we swung and reserved parked today, ready for a quick and easy departure this evening. When we are working out which side to berth we will take various things in to consideration, this will be weather conditions on arrival and forecast, tidal conditions, port requirements and ships requirements.
The weather forecast has decided to prove me wrong today. We had cloudy skies and the temperature only reached 23c or 73f which meant a cooler day, which everyone enjoyed.
Gijon is the first of our two Spanish ports this cruise. This is the largest of the cities in northern Spain. It is known for its maritime history and it fishermen’s quarter. Our guests had the pleasure of going to the old seafaring town of Aviles. From there they came back to Gijon for a tour of the city. We also took our guests out in the region of Asturias in north-western Spain to see the sights of the Picos de Europa mountains. The next tour did take me by surprise as I would have never guessed that this region was known for it, however today we had a tour to a local traditional local cider brewery known as a ‘Llagar’. Here they brew a local Asturian cider, which you could taste along with some local cheeses.
Continuing the theme of Bay of Biscay as this is where we are based this cruise I thought I would share with you a screenshot from an app called Marine Traffic. For those of you who have read my blogs before you will remember I showed you how much traffic transiting the English Channel. As you can see there is a main ship routing that goes from the most north-western point of France to the north-western point of Spain. This shipping route takes many cargo and cruise ships from the English Channel to the Straits of Gibraltar where they will normally be heading to the Suez Canal or south towards Africa, the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean beyond.
With everyone back from their sightseeing and tours of Gijon, we completed our pre-departure checks and discussed the departure manoeuvre with the pilot. Once this was done and the Captain was happy everything was ready, he gave the order to cast off. I manoeuvred Saga Pearl II off the berth and out in to the harbour. After disembarking the pilot, courses were set to the east to take us back along the coast to our next port and new port for me, Pasajes, Spain. Which I am told is a narrow and scenic entrance.
Buenas noches a todos!
Simon D Westall - Staff Captain
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